Over the Christmas break I was able to come to Texas to visit family. I took the opportunity to visit the McKinney Ave Transit line and see the recently opened trolley turntable at the uptown Cityplace stop. It is quite an impressive structure. Here are some pictures of the turntable and surrounding area.
Saturday, December 31, 2011
Friday, September 23, 2011
Cmdr Moale was an early modeler of traction cars in OO scale. American OO Today had a great post on him the other day. See the post here. http://americanoo.blogspot.com/2011/09/vintage-oo-layout-photos-iii-moale.html
Recently Kinkei Sharyo of Japan has been touring a hybrid technology streetcar called the AmeriTram around to different public transportation properties around the country. It is a 100 percent low floor design. It is on display now at the American Public Transportation Association trade show in New Orleans. This will be the last stop on this prototype cars' tour of the US. Cities it was demonstrated in include Dallas, Charlotte, Austin, Phoenix, Tempe, and Kansas City. The new street car line that is to be built in Dallas is thinking of using a car of this hybrid battery technology. The main reason is to lower the cost of the line by not hanging overhead over the whole line and also the Houston st. bridge does not have room for overhead poles to be installed. There will be overhead wires in some spots such as at stations to facilitate the quick charging of the batteries. Click the link for more information on the AmeriTram.
Friday, July 15, 2011
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
My grandfather Carl Eugene Randall grew up in Springfield VT. Here is a short video clip of one of the cars of the Springfield Terminal Rwy he used to ride when he lived there. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvtTgZ1hn3Q&feature=email
Thursday, July 7, 2011
I had a great time a couple of weeks ago meeting with the Louisville KY trolley club at their monthly meeting. This group is made up of both model and prototype trolley/interurban/public transportation enthusiasts. It was the first time I attended their meetings and I was made to feel quite welcome. The meeting was held at Arthur Robb's house. He and his wife were great hosts. We started the evening socializing and running O scale model trolley and interurban cars on Art's 4 x 8 O scale traction layout. Power is off the overhead on this layout. Art has built many fine O scale traction cars over the years and has quite a unique collection. One of my favorite models that he built is a model of an Indiana Railroad high speed light weight interurban car which he has painted in his private road (Shenandoah Traction) colors. I was able to run my first car a Chigago Birney for the first time on his layout. As I do not have overhead yet.
After running the model cars for a while we watched a couple of traction videos. One video showed numerous shots from the Western Railway Museum out in the San Francisco bay area. The next tape was a montage of different traction properties accross the country and Mexico. I had quite an interesting evening and enjoyed meeting everybody. We had a bit of excitement that evening with several severe storm/tornado warnings. We found out after the fact that a couple of tornados came within a couple of miles of the meeting location. A few buildings were damaged. Here are a few more photos of Art's layout and cars.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Back in February I took a trip with my family to the Dallas TX area where we visited family for several days. I was able to ride the complete length of the new Green Line that goes from Buckner Blvd. SW Dallas to the NW of the City. It is quite a nice line and will be a great asset to the Dallas system in the future. The line ends at North Carrolton station at the far North West. Here it will soon connect with the A-Train. The A-train is a DMU operated interurban line that ends at the city of Denton TX North West of Dallas. Currently and the service just went into operation this month the A-train line is operated with RDC cars from the Trinity Railway Express line between Dallas and Ft Worth. But new light rail DMU cars are coming from Stadler Rail in Switzerland for the Carrolton-Denton service. These new cars should be delivered by 2012 I think. The same type of Stadler Rail Car has been operating in service on the line in Austin TX. Also a similar DMU but older version runs on the NJ Transit River Line between Trenton and Camden NJ.
What do you think about how expensive it is to build these new lines? It is sad that the old ones were thrown away and torn up. The Texas Interurban Railway used to operate over the Katy RR tracks between Dallas and Denton. This new A Tain line is built over the same right of way. It seems it would have been cheaper if these lines were still in place in various cities where they could just be upgraded today. Also these new light rail lines are built as I would call them in a “gold plated” fashion. They have catenary instead of single span wire. And steel and concrete poles everywhere instead of wood. Expensive track and paving schemes.
This first photo is of the building where the new light rail cars are initially assembled when they come from Kinki Sharyo in Japan. You can see half of a car under one of the wheeled gantry cranes that are used for moving cars around in the yard there are not tracks outside at this facility.
The next photo is of a train at Carrolton on the north end of the Green line.
Next is a photo of #186 Green Dragon Stone and Webster Turtleback car at the citiplace station end of the line on McKinney Ave. Transit in Dallas.
There are a couple of photos of the trucks for this car with the new AC motors. Motor control will be solid state in the car. Trucks are from Melbourne Australia Z-1 Car I think.
I should also mention that currently there is a turntable being installed at the Citiplace station location. The tt is using the bridge deck of an old Texas Electric Rwy bridge repurposed as a turntable bridge. There was no room for a turn back loop at this location. And MATA owns two ex Toronto PCC cars and the turntable will allow them to be used since they are single end. All other MATA cars are double end.
This is the first post of the Bluebonnet Limited blog. The name Bluebonnet Limited comes from the Texas Electric Railway. The Bluebonnet Limited was the name of their limited stop service between Dennison and Dallas TX. The subject of this blog will be light rail, street cars, trolleys, and interurban electric railways of yesterday, today and tomorrow.